News of the Club
Register for the 2023 Trek soon!
There will be new facilities and experiences at the 2023 Trek. Registration ends July 1.
Click here to read the latest on the 2023 Trek.
Click here to see the agenda, check in information, and the registration form.
Student Experience Program Challenge
The Club received a matching grant from an anonymous donor towards the Club's suite of Student Scholarship programs. The donor's match would go as high as $50,000 if the club could garner that many donations. As of March 27, we have met the challenge and have raised $100,000 for these programs. This will allow us to significantly increase engagement with young students.
Click here for more information on the Student Experience program.
We sadly note the passing of Neil Sugermeyer, past Club president. Neil passed away on Friday, September 15, 2023. He was the son of the late George Henry Sugermeyer and Eleanor Gruver Sugermeyer. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Martha Reese Sugermeyer; daughter, Elizabeth Cara Campbell (Michael); son, Andrew Rolf Sugermeyer (Evelyn); grandchildren Sophie and Michael; brother Robert Sugermeyer (Donna); and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his sister Christine Crowe.
Neil was born in Bronxville General Hospital on December 21, 1939. His family moved to Yonkers, NY where he was raised. In 1944 his sister Chris was born and his brother Bob was born four years later. After high school he attended Young Harris Junior College. Following his graduation, he worked for a year as a painter in an auto repair shop. Then he went to Guilford College where he earned his bachelors degree. After graduation, he joined the Navy and began officer training and training to be a pilot. His first deployment was flying helicopters aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard during the Vietnam War.
After his obligated service, he briefly got out of the Navy but missed flying so he rejoined and was sent to Pensacola Florida as an instructor pilot. He assumed that they were going to have him instructing in helicopters, but they needed instructors in fixed wing and he wound up teaching advanced acrobatics. It was during this time that he met and married Martha Reese. His third deployment was to fly helicopters in Antarctica with research scientists in that very challenging environment. He proudly served for twenty-one years. Following his Navy career, he worked as a house painter for over a decade.
Cars became Neil’s passion in his teen years when he and a buddy bought a Model T and fixed the mechanics so that they could drive it up and down the driveway. His mothers spotted an antique car restoration shop and asked if Neil could come and watch. This was the beginning of a lifelong friendship with Al Nippert. They worked on cars together and traveled to car shows and gatherings for the next sixty plus years. While in college, Neil would write to Al every week telling him how many days until he would be back and Al replied telling Neil which cars he was working on and the other friends who had come to his shop. In 1960 they attended their first Franklin Trek in Syracuse NY. Neil and Marty recently attended his 55th Franklin Trek.
Neil was a very friendly person and the antique car hobby supplied many long term friends for over 70 years. In 1978 the Navy moved him, Marty, and their two children to Virginia. He was deployed aboard the USS Guam for much of the next two years. Somewhere around 1980, Neil and Marty returned to the Trek and also joined Tidewater Region AACA. After a few months in the group, they were helping to plan and prepare club activities. Neil served as president of TRAACA in 1997 and 1998. During that time
Marty agreed to write the monthly club newsletter. Neil really became the editor-in-chief because he needed to correct details about the cars and add a lot of commas. In 2008 Marty’s coeditor, Ivie Lister passed away and Neil took over that position so they did the newsletter for the next five years. Neil also put in decades laying out the field for the local meets. That was a job he began with another very long term friend, Terry Bond. Neil and Terry also went to Pennsylvania together to go antiquing and wind up on the field at the mega car swap meet and show in Hershey PA. Over the decades in the antique car hobby, Neil and Marty have made many long lasting friendships with people around the country and around the world.
Donald Francis Taylor, 89, of Milton, DE, formerly of West Grove, PA, passed away on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 at Wilmington Hospital, DE with family by his side.
He was the husband of Mary Jane Woodward Taylor with whom he shared 25 years of marriage.
Born in West Grove, PA, he was the son of the late David Kinney and Virginia Whiteman Taylor.
Don was a graduate of the University of Delaware where he received his engineering degree. He was employed as an engineer for Dupont and Hewlett Packard. Don was also a township engineer and building inspector for many local townships.
He was a member and lay leader of Zoar United Methodist Church, Millsboro, DE. He was also a member of Fort Miles Delaware Historical Society and a lifetime member of the West Grove Fire Company.
Don was an antique car enthusiast, and a member of the Historical and Vintage Car Club of Delaware and the H.H. Franklin Car Club of America. He enjoyed flying his powered parachute and also enjoyed motorcycles, but his family was what mattered most to him.
He is survived by his wife; 11 children, Mary Anne Steel (Richard) of New London, Donald T. Taylor (Marlene) of Cochranville, Joseph E. Taylor (Brenda) of Hawkins, TX, J. Francis Taylor (Michele) of Lincoln University, Kathy Pendleton (Joe) of Souderton, Ruth Aguiar (Ron) of West Grove, Marie Zedalis (John) of Lansford, Daniel E. Taylor (Krista) of New London, Anna Beauchamp (Mike) of Havre de Grace, MD, Thomas P. Taylor (Becky) of Cochranville and Jeanie Mattson (Richie) of West Grove; 29 grandchildren; and 31 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Shirley Kavanagh Taylor; two children, Patty Jo Lawless and Mike Taylor; two grandsons, Matthew Zedalis and James Lawless, two great grandchildren, Bryson Jones and Taylor Jones; and four siblings, Elizabeth, Dora, David and Jimmy.
Family and friends may call at Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc., 86 Pine St., Oxford, PA on Saturday, September 16 from 9-11am. Funeral services will follow at 11 am.
A memorial service will also be held 11 am Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 at Zoar United Methodist Church, 24463 Gravel Hill Rd., Millsboro, DE, with visitation prior.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Don’s memory may be made to The West Grove Fire Company, www.wgfc.org or Zoar United Methodist Church, c/o Carisa Daisey, 24463 Gravel Hill Rd., Millsboro, DE 19966.
Arrangements are being handled by the Edward L. Collins, Jr. Funeral Home, Inc. Oxford, PA. On-line condolences may be made at www.elcollinsfuneralhome.com.
Danin Bodnar passed away after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer that was first diagnosed in June 2015. As she passed, Danin was surrounded by her loving husband, children, and grandchildren. She is survived by her husband Ron, son Conrad, daughter Jennifer, and grandchildren Ben, Nick, Zosia, and Zus.
She met her future husband, Ron, at a country dance in October of 1962. They married in 1966 and resided in Edmonton where they raised their family. She was grateful to have spent much time with her grandchildren who loved her dearly. Danin was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. Her family was her priority.
Danin was born in Myrnam, Alberta, the oldest of nine children. She graduated from Myrnam high school and continued her education at the Edmonton General Hospital School of Nursing (RN), and then at the University of Alberta, where she achieved both a BScN, and then a Masters in Adult Education. Her employment a Grant MacEwan Community College lasted over 34 years. She loved her many positions within the Nursing Program, but she loved teaching the most, and her caring and exuberant personality fit perfectly for this career.
Danin enjoyed life immensely. Her industrious nature meant she was very busy. She was a joyfully spirited individual, and was always young at heart. She was her childrens, then grandchildrens, biggest fan and enjoyed watching them in their activities and sports. She supported her husband, Ron, in his business and hobby ventures. Philanthropy was an important part of Danin and Ron's life and they hosted countless events at their private museum. Danin would often say, "I enjoyed the events as much as the visitors." She prided herself in supporting many charities in Edmonton, and surrounding area, and devoted many hours to volunteering within the community, her nursing alumni, and PEO sisterhood.
Danin will be lovingly remembered and treasured by her family, her brothers and sisters, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends.
Danin was predeceased by her father Steve, mother Alice, infant brother Ken, and her in-laws John and Rose Bodnar.
Cremation and a small private family service have already taken place. To further honour Danin, a Celebration of Life will be held at her favorite place, the Family Museum, on May 19, 2023. Doors will open at 1pm, with a program beginning at 2pm, and light refreshments to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the Stollery Children's Hospital, or Little Warriors.
Laura Ann Stiles (nee Bernabe), 65, of Barnegat, New Jersey, passed away on April 3, 2023. She was a kind, caring and intelligent woman who had a passion for cooking. Her penne vodka and meatballs were especially enjoyed by her family and friends. She was predeceased by her husband, Mike Stiles; mother, Alice Bernabe (nee Rella); father, Riccardo Bernabe; and Jeff Altmeyer, father of her son.
Retired as a nurse from St. Barnabas Behavioral Health Center in Toms River, Laura spent much of her free time devoted to her lifelong affinity for horses. She loved all animals and, particularly, her two horses (whom she affectionately called her “special boys”), Streaker and Stark. As a skilled rider, Laura won numerous awards and cherished the many special friends she made in her equestrian circle.
Laura is survived by her adoring son, Nick (Jasmine); stepson, Joey (Naysa); stepdaughter, Ashleigh (Devin); sisters, Lisa and Michelle (Waleed); brothers, Michael and Rick (Annie); dear friend, Terri Altmeyer; her loving partner, James Bockin; along with many friends and family.
A celebration of Laura’s life will take place on Saturday, April 15, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the Barnegat Fire House on Birdsall Street in Barnegat. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Laura’s name to the Rutgers Equine Science Center, Administrative Services Building II, 57 U.S. Highway 1, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8554, https://esc.rutgers.edu/
Brendan Thomas Hogan, 84 of Randolph died Saturday, March 4, 2023 after a brief illness, with his family at his side. Brendan was born January 7, 1939 in Brooklyn, NY to Mary Kenny and Edmund Hogan. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Peter Edmund Hogan.
Brendan married Patricia Ellen Barry who survives on April 30, 1960 and the couple were lifelong companions for more than 65 years. The couple was blessed with three children; Michael (Susan) of Columbus, OH; Maureen (Walter) Spilsbury of Charlestown, NH; and Holly-Ann (Brian) Hart of Apalachin, NY. He was a proud Poppy to eight grandchildren, a great grandson, and another great grandson on the way. A sister, Jane Dillon of Briarcliff Manor, NY also survives.
Brendan loved collecting and working on his antique cars including a 1930 Franklin and a 1950 Buick, and made car friends throughout the country. He served a term as President of the national H.H. Franklin Club and a term as Vice-President of Antique Automobile Club of America. He was a member of St. Matthew the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Randolph.
After being honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps, Brendan spent his career working in information technology for news organizations in New York City including Associated Press, United Press International and retired from NBC Network News as the manager of technical facilities. While with NBC, Brendan travelled throughout the US and the world to design and install technology which brought events such as Olympic Games, papal visits, political conventions and presidential elections to worldwide audiences.
Visitation will be Tuesday, March 7 from 3:00 to 7:00 pm at Tuttle Funeral Home at 272 Route 10, Randolph, 07869. Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, March 8 at 10:00 am at St. Matthew the Apostle Roman Catholic Church at 335 Dover Chester Rd., Randolph, 07869.
In lieu of flowers the family would prefer that donations in Brendan’s memory be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital www.stjude.org or 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 due to the fact that burial will take place at a later date in New York.
With full support from the Board of Directors, the Trek Committee has announced that the 2023 Trek will be held at Union College in Schenectady, New York. A great deal of time and patience was required to ensure the membership a comfortable and recognizable Trek experience. The 2023 Trek Committee has gone above and beyond normal expectations. Collectively, we owe Steve Braverman, Rachel McNaughton, Sarah Schopmeier and Lee Schopmeier a debt of gratitude for their tireless efforts over the past 4 months.
Update Regarding the 2023 Trek
New beginnings; with 2023 well underway, I greet you for the first time as President. The coming months are sure to provide new opportunities for our club, as we turn the page on our chapter at Cazenovia College. Under the steadfast leadership of Bob Cornman, I find the club robust with an increasingly active membership and ever-broadening horizons of growth. Top of mind is the relocation of our Annual Franklin Trek. As with any Trek, the Executive Committee is in close communication with the Trek Co-Chairs to provide guidance and support. Since October 2022, they have been working tirelessly on the vetting of prospective host sites. We look forward to the Trek Committee’s report at the February Board Meeting; updates will be cross-promoted on the Club website and social media platforms.
I came across your Franklin Car Club web site as a result of viewing an article on a 1931 Franklin in Hemmings. This inspired recollection of the 1931 Franklin convertible coupe my late older half-brother Cecil Shanklin owned from 1951 until his passing in 2008 at the age of 90. I believe that he was a member of your Club.
Just a brief history: Cecil was a career Navy man and retired after 20 years in 1958 as a Chef Petty Officer, diesel technician. In 1951 he was stationed in San Diego and at that time he noticed a 1931 Franklin convertible coupe in the back of an auto wrecking yard. The yard owner said that he could have the car for one dollar if he reorganized the whole yard to get the car out - done deal! He worked for several weekends to get the job done. The car was straight with some surface "patina".
After doing some work on the car to get it running and tires, he drove it from San Diego to Panorama City, California in the Los Angeles area, maybe 170 miles. After it sat in the garage a few months he noticed a small pile of wood dust under the car. The Franklin had termites he had to have it tented and gassed by an exterminator.
Over the years Cecil would do restoration work on the car, especially after moving to Loomis, California in 1962 where he had room to build a detached garage and workshop. He rebuilt the engine and running gear and a local body shop did the body restoration and paint. He last worked on the car about 1993. See attached photos.
The car was sold in about 2010 by his son to a Franklin enthusiast in the East, whose name I do not have, likely a member of your Club.
Hope you find this Franklin trivia interesting.
I thought some of the Franklin club members would like to see the family speedster on a little vacation at kellys island on the beautiful Lake Erie island in late summer 2022 . we went over on the kellys island ferry stayed a couple days at the island hotel and drove the franklin around everyday and returned on the ferry. Very enjoyable weekend. Car is pictured at the Old General Store. Gus Alai